New workspace here we come!
Many of you will be aware that we have been on the hunt for new premises for the business for over a year. Frankly it is all I have talked (and moaned about) so I apologise now to everyone who has had to listen to me bang on about it! In my defence this has been a crucial goal for Blue Ticking and one I knew we needed to suss for us to more forward and grow.
Whilst our current barn has been an amazing starting point we knew from the get go it wasn’t going to work long term because of its various short comings. The location is spot on, a simple 5 minute drive from our house, but essentially we are in a cow shed. I’m all for a bit of back to basics but after four years it’s beginning to wear thin. Especially when paint freezes, wood warps, there is no room to swing a cat and you can’t move your fingers due to freezing temps. Whilst it’s generally water tight the space gets damp which means we struggle to store some of our goods there. It also doesn’t have any access to water which is crucial when we first get new goods because more often than not they need washing. I also can’t have my office there so I’m often going back and forth between the barn and home. If everything was in one place I know I would be more productive. Another issue is the lack of space. As we grow we need our space to grow with us and there is little opportunity for this where we are. Another big thing is the current state of the barn, it doesn’t look awfully pretty and I therefore don’t want customers to come and view goods or pick up items. John and I also feel somewhat isolated there. We aren’t surrounded by other businesses which we would like to be to create a positive energy and to get the creative juices flowing. So all in all things needed to change, we really couldn’t do another winter where we currently are!
Any new premises had to address the above problems and enable us to stay put for some time. Whilst the children are young we also don’t want to have to travel too far. All fairly tricky things to tick off for a start up which happens to operate in a rather expensive county and with very few smaller industrial units, hence why it has taken some time!
However, after a bit of a rollercoaster journey I am super excited to say we have found somewhere in the exact place we wanted to be, The Brickworks in Rudgwick! We still can’t quite believe it is happening but we started work on fitting out the space this week so it really is happening, we are in no doubt now!! Below are a few pics of what John has been able to do so far. The partitioned area is where my office and photography area will be.
We are so excited because the space is a completely blank canvas and it will address all the points I made earlier. It has running water, the internet, (so I can have my office there), lots of space so room to grow and it’s surrounded by other fab businesses. It will also be a place where customers can come and say hi and view goods and where we will be able to hold events and open days. It’s a space which will enable us to try new things and offer new products! It’s only a 6 minute drive from our house, so as far as the location is concerned we have hit the jack pot. Another real bonus is it has a coffee shop on site which is always busy. I hear they do the best cheese on toast around, I may have to curb my visits! John is delighted because the Firebird Brewery is opposite and on day one he had already been offered a pint! If I can’t find him, I think I know where to look! Oh and did I mention that I will have my own toilet! Yes, you heard right, my own toilet. A basic requirement but one I have been without in our current barn. It really is the simple things in life which provide the most joy! I may even go wild and buy a swanky hand wash!!!
I have spent the last week popping in with the children for picnic lunches with John. They are interested to know what John is doing and Edith spent a very happy hour drawing on all the bits of wood so she has certainly left her mark! Blue Ticking was dreamt up whilst I was on maternity leave with Maggie and we decided to go for it to ensure we had a better work/life balance and were able to be around for the children as much as possible. It’s therefore really important to John and I that they can be part of this journey and share in all the happy and milestone moments along the way.
We should be up and running in July so I will be able to give more details then and I hope to meet many more of you in person. Thanks as always for all the support to date. This feels like a massive step for us, but a step in the right direction. I would be lying if I said we weren’t a bit anxious (this is a much bigger commitment on every level) but I think this is a good thing because it keeps us on our toes and means we care. The most over riding feeling is one of real excitement and hope for the future of Blue Ticking.